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Athens military parade celebrates National Independence

Major streets shut down in downtown Athens today for the parade celebrating the Greek Independence Day of March 25, while police were on alert, in great numbers.

The military parade honoring the Greek War of Independence is over, leaving many to wonder, why it was even staged, as the public was almost completely barred from viewing.

The parade as always began with the traditional laying of the wreath at the tomb of the unknown soldier in front of parliament by the president of the republic Karolos Papoulias. The actual parade opened up with disabled veterans, only three were present this year.

They were followed by the Evzones of the Presidential Guard.The vehicular segment followed, featuring main battle tanks, armored infantry vehicles, artillery, and guided missiles.

Overhead flew planes and helicopters of all armed forces branches.Finishing off with troops marching on foot

However, as the viewing of the parade was strictly limited to pass bearers and screened members of the press, many decried the idea that it was even staged, since it defeated most of the fundamental reasons for such an institution, and was a pricey show in times of economic despair.